“Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass!”
“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”
-- Machiavelli (source)
"Everything matters in art, except the subject, and all bad literature is sincere.”
-- Oscar Wilde
"Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of real civilization."
"Good fortune deceives, but bad fortune enlightens."
-- The Consolation of Philosophy (trans. Victor Watts)
"Prejudice is prejudging any question without having sufficiently examined it, and adhering to our opinion upon it through ignorance, malice or perversity, in spite of every evidence to the contrary."
"During the Kamakura period, Zen received its warmest reception among the warrior class -- the samurai. According to a popular saying of the time: 'Tendai is for the imperial court, Shingon for the nobility, Zen is for the warrior class, and Pure Land for the masses.'"
Heinrich Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History (Japan), p. 31
"What most people call conscience is one-fifth fear of others, one-fifth fear of gods and idols, one-fifth prejudice, one-fifth vanity, and one-fifth habit."
-- Arthur Schophenhauer, On the Basis of Morality, § 13 (my very loose translation).
"Most great men owe their salvation to the fact that their strength exists in a watertight compartment to which their weaknesses have no access."
From Ernest Newman's 1934 biograpy of Franz Liszt
"If I cross the street with a woman, I am an adulterer; if I cross it with a man, I am a homosexual; if I cross it by myself am addicted to masturbation." -- Karl Kraus